Behind the Discoveries of Finding Your Roots

Behind the Discoveries of Finding Your Roots

A series of shorts taken from some of the most memorable guest appearances on the long-running PBS series Finding Your Roots. For more than a decade, renowned Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has helped to expand America’s sense of itself, stimulating a national conversation about identity with humor, wisdom, and compassion. Professor Gates has explored the ancestry of dozens of influential people from diverse backgrounds, taking millions of viewers deep into the past to reveal the connections that bind us all.

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Behind the Discoveries of Finding Your Roots
  • Audra McDonald

    Audra McDonald reacts to heart-wrenching discoveries in her family history in this clip from PBS's Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

  • Pharrell Williams

    Pharrell Williams gets an intimate glimpse of his family history as he reads the actual words of his great-great-great Aunt, who endured slavery near the Tar River in North Carolina.

  • Questlove

    In this clip from Finding Your Roots, Henry Louis Gates Jr. walks Questlove through some painful moments from his family's past.

  • Ava DuVernay

    Ava DuVernay makes an emotional discovery about her African ancestry through family history and DNA.

  • Jordon Peele

    Jordan Peele has an emotional reaction to discovering details about the sale of his enslaved ancestors.

  • Queen Latifah

    Queen Latifah has an emotional reaction learning that she descends from free people of color.

  • Maya Rudolph

    In this clip from Finding Your Roots, Maya Rudolph makes emotional discoveries about her enslaved ancestors.

  • RuPaul Charles

    RuPaul Charles learns about the bittersweet story of his ancestors under slavery.

  • Sterling K. Brown

    Sterling K. Brown has an emotional reaction to discovering his African 5th great-grandparents' African roots.

  • Gayle King

    Gayle King is proud and humbled to learn about her grandfather's role in a WWI medical unit and his survival during one of the deadliest battles in U.S. military history.